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brooder room

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fayediddles, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. fayediddles

    fayediddles Out Of The Brooder

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    What temperature should a brooder room be? My Husband built me a 5x3 room that the roof comes off, but I want to place a temp. control heater to keep the room the same temp until the chicks get feathers, but I'm not sure how warm they need to maintain?
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    The entire space the chicks are in should be "room temp" or ambient temp. For me, that's whatever temp it is outside, cause I brood outside. Provide a warm spot, not an entire warm world. They need to be able to move from an area of warmer temp to an area of cooler temp to regulate themselves. Momma hen only warms a small area, otherwise babies are running around in whatever the temp happens to be when they hatched and they do just fine. Keeping chicks too warm constantly can contribute to pasty butt, dehydration and can make the chicks feather out incredibly slow. I'd say go with a heating pad brooder or an eco glow, something like that, and just let the space be at a normal temp.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Agreed with Donrae. Many chicks are killed with kindness. Kept too warm, fiddled with too much. They need heat in a very small area. The rest of their brooder should be much cooler. I cringe when I see folks with a rubbermaid tote for a brooder, and a 250W heat lamp hanging over it.
     
  4. fayediddles

    fayediddles Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you Ladies, you just saved me from cooking my babies, Thank both of you so very much, now just one more question can I put hay on the floor so it's easier to clean up the room, it's a concrete floor, and I can afford to buy wood chips?
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Are you talking about on the floor of your brooder? Yes. You can put down some hay, but it will get messy quickly, and it tends to hold moisture more than shavings do, therefore may harbor mold. Not a good situation for chicks. BUT, if you can keep the brooder dry with hay, you could do that. I'm sure that's what the old timers did, but they weren't raising chicks in such a tight environment. (they most likely had chicks in a drafty old barn!) Do you have access to dry leaves? They make a wonderful bedding option. If you don't have leaves, I'd shell out the money and buy a bale of shavings. How are you buying your starter feed? DON'T waste your money on the tiny little bags. Bite the bullet, and buy a 50# bag. They'll go through that a lot quicker than you could ever imagine. If money is tight for you (I can't imagine anyone who would say that money ISN'T tight!) check out the Fermented Feed thread. The biggest expense after housing will be feed. By fermenting (super easy to do) you'll be giving your chicks a good gut load of probiotic bacteria, and your bag of feed will go much farther b/c they'll be absorbing more nutrients from it... and their poop will not smell as bad!!! And, there will be NO waste with FF compared to dry feed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2016
  6. fayediddles

    fayediddles Out Of The Brooder

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    yes I meant to lay on the floor so the concrete won't draw the heat from their bodies when they lay down, I buy the 40# bags that as big as they sale around here, and I do feed table scraps, old bread and crackers even egg shells too, tons of vegs as well. I've not had to buy much feed this summer they are free rangers but a cat killed one of my Lavender Orpington Bantam, so now I have them on lock down in a runner and they are not happy. I'll read up on fermenting. thanks for your help
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    With my tractor, I put down a layer of cardboard, covered that with an old shower curtain, an other layer of cardboard. Then the tractor, with a cardboard vertical skirt to keep out drafts, keep shavings in, then a couple of inches of shavings. Never bothered to take out shavings unless I had a water spill. Just kept topping off as needed. By the time the chicks were ready to go out, clean up was super easy. IMO, deep bedding is the way to go, and if you have more than one brood, studies have shown that successive broods do better on old litter due to the microbes there that build a healthy gut flora. BTW, tractor covered with 1/2" HDW cloth. IMO, never use chicken wire for chicks. To start, feed on cardboard, then put feeder on cardboard, start waterer on 2 x 4's, then hang from chain. Goal is to keep both feed and water at chick shoulder level.
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    You have received some great advice from @donrae and @lazy gardener .
    The only other things I can add is for the first couple of days place the feeder on some white paper towels. Those little chicks like to scratch their food and the white helps them see the food without it getting lost in the bedding. After a couple of days, they recognize "food" and then will love to scratch in the bedding to find it.(I accidentally spilled my food and they spent 2 days scratching around looking for that spilled food, didn't pay that feeder any attention). I am an advocate of introducing small amounts of veggies, fruit, a clump of clover or dandelion very early (within the first week), just don't forget to give them a bit of chick grit to help digest. Just put it in a small dish in the corner, they will eat some if needed. Give them a few things to climb on like scrap pieces of wood, install a small stick or branch really low, they will play perch on these. If these are your first chickens and you already have your coop ready you may actually want to brood them in the coop if you have electricity. I brooded in my coop and worried myself to death over a heat lamp in there, I wish I had seen these two great ideas below, I think I wouldn't have worried so much.

    @Blooie mama heating pad
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/brooding-with-mama-heating-pad
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors

    @aart and his version
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate
     

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